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grandeur ; but she has not been enticed by the false glare of wealth, and now with joy I reward your faithful love. Receive her, Lubin, from my hands; take her to church, and then let the sports begin. Nay, do not bow your knee to me, my children ; pay your thanks there, where only they are due, to Heaven. I am already rewarded; the pleasure of making others happy is the most supreme happiness this world can bestow, and that happiness is mine."
The whole village rejoiced ; Lubin and Gillian were married, and lived as happy as contentment, competence, and faithful love could make them. They ever blessed the name of the good Mr. Steady, and loved and revered him as their friend and benefactor; whilst he ever regarded them as his children, and was much more happy in bestowing the pretty Gillian on the youth she loved than he could have been in making her his wife without possessing her affections; and he fully proved that the truly wise, the truly virtuous, are blessed themselves in conferring blessings upon others; he ever endeavoured also to impress upon all his lowly friends, that the evils of life are meant for some good and wise purpose, though to us unknown.
If we are wise and judge aright, there's scarce
Let us infuse that fortitude of soul,
And who shall shake our martial glories from us? DURING the time when the valiant Edward, commonly called the Black Prince, was anxiously forming his arrangements for the battle of Poictiers, he was shocked on hearing that his friend and favourite, Arnold Mortimer, had deserted from the camp and gone over to the enemy. Edward's great soul was stung with indignation at such an instance of base ingratitude in one whom he had loved and served to the utmost extent ; but his was too important, too full of danger to admit of secret sorrow : and, therefore, banishing the worthless ingrate from his heart, he resolved to forget a man who had so far disgraced the English name.
Arnold Mortimer was the orphan son of one of his father's vassals; he had been the playmate of his early years; and their boyish sports had ever been marked by a devoted attachment on either side. As they advanced in life, and grew more intimately acquainted with each other's worth, the bond of friendship was confirmed more powerfully by services on the one hand and gratitude on the other. Arnold held a place of importance about the person of the prince, and he had distinguished himself in the field by many instances of valour ; valiant amid the most valiant ; for the army of Edward, so brave, so well disciplined, and so constantly victorious, boasted so many stout hearts that, to be in any way distinguished, where all were brave, was to be brave indeed. Edward's love was gratified; he indulged the generosity of his nature, by rewarding Arnold according to his desert ; and a military post of honour was now vacant, which he gave him, enhancing the gift also by the gracious kindness with which it was bestowed.
Could it be supposed possible, that a man so highly honoured, so blessed in the favour and affection of such a prince, would forsake him, forsake him in his hour of need, desert him at a time when every arm was required to support a desperate cause, and stem the fearful tide of an unequal battle? Yet thus it was : Arnold, the brave, ihe affectionate, and hitherto grateful Arnold, betrayed by love, deserted the best of masters, at the suit of a mistress.
Mariana, daughter of Lord Charney, the beauteous captive of Arnold, had long been a prisoner in the British camp. Her youth and loveliness, her artless simplicity, and her fascination of manners won his heart ; whilst her painful situation riveted more powerfully her influence over his soul. He behek her a captive in a stranger land, separated from he: only surviving parent, and dependent upon him for protection. By every delicate and tender attention he strove to lighten her calamity. Mariana, grateful for his kindness, conceived for him a mutual regard; but she, aware of the impossibility of their being united, not daring to hope her father's consent could ever be obtained to her marriage with an enemy, and one to whom she had been a captive, suppressed her growing tenderness, and, to all his fond assurances of love, answered only with sighs and tears ; or, if she spoke, it was with an assumed coldness which chilled his hopes, and left him at a loss to understand her real sentiments, till, in a fatal moment, a sense of danger drew the secret from her tortured bosom.
The wars between England and France had been long and deadly. Edward the Third, father of the Black Prince, had demanded the crown of France, in right of Isabella, his mother, daughter of Philip the Fair. France had been defeated with great loss both by sea and land : and at the famous battle of Crecy, when the English, with thirty thousand men, had routed the French army consisting of a hundred and twenty thousand, the young prince, though only sixteen, had first distinguished himself by deeds of valour scarce to be credited. Whether to proceed in the present determination of marching towards Poictiers, or withdraw his troops, and wait the return of spring, was now the matter of debate. The Earl of Warwick and Lord Chandos, prudent as well as brave, advised delay : but Lord Audley and
the Earl of Salisbury, brave and somewhat headstrong, considered retreat as disgraceful ; and unwilling to grant any triumph to their foes, in the idea of their imbecility, strenuously urged the war; when Edward, believing a retreat to Bordeaux practicable in case of any discomfiture, at length consented to adyance, and orders were issued for their immediate march to Poictiers.
Scarcely were they encamped before intelligence was brought that they were on every side surrounded by the French; all retreat to Bordeaux was cut off, and, with a handful of harassed soldiers, and scarcely any provision, they must, with eight thousand men, encounter an army of a hundred thousand, unfátigued and high in health, in strength, and spirits. Their situation was desperate ; there scarcely appeared a hope : and Edward, though he felt not, feared not for himself, was shocked at the idea of sacrificing the lives of his brave followers without any prospect of success.
It was at this critical juncture when the desertion of Arnold Mortimer struck like a cold damp on the heart of Edward. To have loved a coward was disgraceful : Edward could not imagine any cause for flight, save the idea of approaching danger; or even supposing him under the influence of love, he could not have admitted that as an excuse for a conduct so unworthy; he felt therefore no ray of compassion, but considered him even beneath contempt.
Arnold had been deluded in a moment fatal for his honour and his peace. The affrighted Mariana, learning the danger by which they were surrounded, and trembling for the life of her adored captor, besought him to conduct her to her father's camp. Arnold pointed out to her the utter impossibility of compliance, and endeavoured to console her with assurances of perfect safety : assuring her that whatever might be the issue of the battle, no injury could fall on her; for should the swords of her coun